As a citizen of a province with a dedicated agenda to providing universal healthcare, in a country that prides itself on its history of affordable healthcare delivery to all citizens; it is surprising to me the disjointed and dysfunctional state of health information technology. The province of Ontario has spent 5 years and over $100 million to build a personal health record. Canada Health Infoway has used $800 million of their budget to coordinated and standardize the electronic health record for all citizens. Original estimate was to have a full implemented solution by 2005, now the date is perhaps 2015.
In 2001, I began the process of building a web-based electronic forms system to support electronic health (eHealth). The concept is simple, while Health Canada Infoway will define the standards and the infrastructure, each application will need forms and the web is ideal for creating accessible forms. We built the Clarity Healthcare Solution to support ISO standards, HL7 standards and common internet standards (XML). As new and evolving requirements are published they would be incorporated. The Clarity Healthcare Solution is implemented at over 10 facilities using a combination of our modules for Rehab, Mental Health, Complex and Long-term Care reporting. These are early adopters, progressive hospitals advancing electronic web forms for patient assessments.
Many people have the misconception that because we have universal healthcare and a single payer system in Ontario that the government maintains or should maintain the citizens health information. This is not the case. Doctors maintain their records, hospitals have their health records, pharmacies, clinics and various alternative health providers (homecare) maintain their own records about their clients care. There is no single source for the health information. The only one who has the full picture is the individual and their family. Often these individuals do not have actual records, but only personal notes or memories of conversations about their health information.
Many agencies have been setup to provide eHealth or an electronic health record. Much has been spent with little return.
In 2008, we released a trial version of our content rich consumer health journal. Clarity Health Journal puts the individual and their family at the center of care. After all they have the greatest to gain in maintaining their health. Having all the details in one place will make it easier to communicate with their doctor and ensure the hospital has all the pertinent information when it is needed. Combining personal information, hospital records, doctors records, medication, pharmacy and all other health related information like expenses, habits and personal contacts will enhance the individuals’ health delivery. The trial version is a free CPU based download for personal and family use.
Later this year we will release the web-based version of Clarity Health Journal that will have a global reach. Clients will be able to share their health information with care providers and family anywhere in the world. Users will be able to request and receive data from the doctors and hospital records, bring together all there health information. This, for the first time will create an easy to transport health information system. If a person changes doctors or moves cities they can take all their medical history with them.
For people with ongoing health problems, chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, cardiac, cancer, AIDS etc., the need for continuity and self-monitoring is essential. Clarity Health Journal provides an extensive Diabetes logbook, Food Diary, Medication and dosage tracker. The ability to chart lab results, tests and other readings like blood pressure, glucose levels are essential to promote better health.
Costs of healthcare are rising. Let’s work together to manage our care in the most comprehensive, integrated and efficient manner possible.